Drivers say Henley Bridge detour is quick and easy

Drivers say Henley Bridge detour is quick and easy

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By HARLOW SUMERFORD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the Henley Bridge closed for construction, drivers headed to or from South Knoxville have to use another way to cross the Tennessee River.

Coming from Chapman Highway, the state Department of Transportation asks drivers to detour right on Moody Avenue, follow it to James White Parkway and cross the river.

Henley Bridge Project

"Whenever I'm coming into Knoxville I normally go James White anyway because it is less traffic and it doesn't take as long. So it doesn't really matter that much," Freida McDonald said.

Drivers say the detour does not take much longer and 6 News did not find any traffic problems on Monday, the first morning the bridge was closed.

"I left about 10 minutes earlier and still had time for gas and still have time to get to work," Tracey Jackson said.

Another detour option is going over the Gay Street Bridge in downtown. The bridges are parallel and not far apart. However, the Gay Street Bridge is just one lane each way.

The concern with that option is the Gay Street Bridge could become crowded.

Some drivers say they will avoid it. "Mainly because of that. It is going to be so backed up I'm sure being one lane each way over the bridge. When it's warmer, I ride my bike to work so it won't impact me as much," Sam Comer said.

The Henley Bridge closure will impact about 40,000 drivers a day. Many of those will test both alternate routes.

"Actually we are trying that out today to see which is best for us. We came Gay Street down and so we will go back Moody, I mean James White Parkway, and see what is going to be best for us," Tammy Ruble said.

TDOT estimates construction on the Henley Bridge will last through 2012 at least.

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